December 2020 TeamMates of the Month: Familiarity and Consistency
“I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve won in our three years and counting,” says Sara. “If we happen to have that one time where I’m ahead, the rules seem to change.” Sara and her mentee Alexa laugh. The pair loves to compete over card games like Trash, Qwixx, and classics like Slapjack and Uno.
“I don’t change the rules!” retorts eighth-grader Alexa, amused.
“She remembers a rule she didn’t remember at the beginning,” clarifies Sara with a smile. “My daughter is the same age, so I understand. I don’t win at home either.”
Laughter is the foundation of this TeamMates match. They recall a time recently when a class occupied their usual meeting place. They had to play cards in the back of a study hall full of Alexa’s classmates, as the pair stifled their giggles and competitive banter.
Alexa, a student at Cathedral of the Risen Christ (which happens to be Sara’s alma mater), is the oldest of six children and is the only daughter in the family. Sara praises Alexa’s maturity and helpfulness. “By being the oldest sibling, she has responsibilities to help with the younger kids. She is able to do a lot of things that not a lot of people her age can do.”
Alexa enjoys having another female in her life to visit with. “Meeting with Sara gives me something to look forward to for the week and then after the weekend. We get to talk about things I may not want to talk about with my siblings.”
Their carefree weekly visits also provide a light-hearted break in a stressful year. “For me,” says Sara, “It’s just knowing that with all the craziness of work and the world and everything, there is this thing that is not too serious; it’s laid back. I get to break up my day and just hang out with her. I learned early on that TeamMates is as rewarding for us mentors as the mentees.”
For Alexa, continuing her mentorship with Sara has provided some familiarity and consistency in a year unlike any other. “It was exciting to see her again, and just being able to leave the classroom like we normally would, and talk to her and play games and just have fun.”